“I derided Christians as intellectual bigots who were too weak to face the reality that there is No rhyme or reason to the world.” Does this sound like a staunch Democrat coming out of the Christian closet for Jesus Christ? No? Well you would be wrong. This is what Kirsten Powers, a Fox news contributor and writer for the Daily Beast said in an interview with Christianity Today.
Today, Kirsten says, “I am a Devout Evangelical Christian.” So how did she get from there, hating Christian extremists, to now accepting the Faith and giving her life to Jesus? Her story is a 7 year venture but she’s coming out of the Christian closet now and she is loud and proud.
I remember watching her on Fox wearing a “crucifix” necklace during the campaign season and thinking what a hypocrite trying to sway Christians with a necklace into believing Democrats were Christians too. Anyone standing up for the President when he was absolving abortion, gay versus traditional marriage and taking the names God and Jerusalem out of the platform had to be a fraud. Her pious visage of wearing that necklace on National Television really annoyed me. I felt as though she was mocking Christians by her Democratic stance alongside Obama’s claims he was a Christian. Out of one side of his mouth he claims he believes in God and the bible and out of the other side he denounces most everything the Bible stands for.
I recall pondering this was some sicko campaign gesture to throw off fringe moderate Republicans into voting for him, believing that what he stood for on policy was acceptable Christian views. I had no idea she was a Christian and probably most Christians and Republicans didn’t either.
Her story starts in her secular world surrounded by predominantly atheist and Liberal friends as far back as the Clinton administration. Someone asked her if she had any dating liabilities that would hold her back? At first she said no. In re-thinking she corrected her statement saying, “just no religious guys.” Unbeknownst to her she started dating a man who was into Jesus.
After a few dates he called and asked her “Do you believe that Jesus is your savior?” She thinks, who says stuff like that? This was strange to her. She probably thought he came from another planet, most of us Christians do. We are only visitors here.
She wrote “I have found this man’s church attendance an oddity to overlook, not a point in his favor. On the one hand, I was creeped out.” She lived in an extremely secular world and didn’t know even one person who attended church. Her reference to being creeped out was to his asking do you believe that Jesus is your Savior?
He asks again but a different way. Do you think you could keep an “open mind” about Jesus? She had mostly heard about Christians saying things about gays and feminist. The Media concentrates on those kinds of inflammatory comments. She had ridiculed Christians as feckless extremists living in a fantasy world, but these words just pierced her little Liberal heart. She said, “of course…I’m a Liberal and if we are anything we are open minded!” I say to him way to go! You found that girl’s Democratic “Easy Button”. You punched her in the middle of her Liberal ideological pride with…flattery, a contentious challenge she couldn’t resist.
Kirsten goes on to say she grew conflicted; “I had enormous respect for him, he was smart, educated and intellectually curious. I remember thinking what if this is true and I’m not even willing to consider it?”
After 8 months of going to church and praying for God to reveal himself to her; while in Taiwan she had a dream. Jesus came to her and said, “Here I am.“ It felt so real, in between a dream and reality. At first glance she thought it was just a dream because she didn’t really believe in things like that. She called her boyfriend to ask him to help explain what happened. Before she could ask him about the dream he said he had been praying and felt like he was supposed to break up with her, and he did. The break up was hurtful but she was “traumatized” by Jesus visiting her.
When she returned to New York a few days later she was lost. She suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying. It felt like an unwelcome invasion and she feared she was going crazy. Bible study was the answer but her most pressing concern was that Christians would turn her into a Republican. If only that could happen! She didn’t have an iota of doubt about Jesus though.
The horror of the prospect of being a devout Christian crept in almost immediately. She spent the next few months doing her best to wrestle away from God. How odd, Jacob wrestled all night to get closer to God. It was a culture shock and a world new to her. Most people she came in contact with were conservative and dumbfounded as to how she could be a Democrat and a Christian. I know I was astounded but actually this is inspiring to see God’s work up close and personal.
She knew her friends would view her differently and they did. “A lot of the people I was close to are still my friends but we don’t have the same kind of relationship that we had, it’s strained. My whole life had been centered on Democratic politics and my friends and I were very much in that bubble and that’s what we bonded over, that was our religion.”
Her family is very Liberal, intellectual and professors. They were not so happy with it. She tells her mom she is going to a Bible study and her mom responds ok that’s good. That’s probably a nice education for literature. She says to her mom “no, I believe it.” Then she got the wide eyes, open jaw look of amazement and disapproval.
I could only envision her mom embracing her with words of approval and I love you and accept you just like you are if Kirsten had come out of the “gay closet”. How nice that support would have been. Usually when you come out of the Christian closet you’re looked at with disdain and treated as if you have some kind of incurable chronic disease and then you’re purposely left out of the will.
I have to remark that when I see her on Fox now days she does seem to have toned her attitude down. I think about how progress is a process and often times looks like a cluster of failures. You can have feelings about that because it’s sad and you may even wrestle with God. In the end we have to continue on and not fall apart and quit. Success is the “journey” to discovering God and His bigness and great Love but it comes with the realization of how small we are in comparison and accepting our short comings and giving them to Him. Kirsten just reminded me of how we start our passage; everyone’s achievement is at their own growth pace. We begin to think and act differently, not conjecturing but with moral deliberation and obedience of the Word. Before you know it people are commenting on how you have changed and you seem to have a peace about you and a real joy in your heart.
What Kirsten’s story has revealed to us is that anyone(including Democrats) willing to have an open mind need only put one foot in front of the other and walk out of that closet of darkness toward the Light into the open arms of Jesus.
Kirsten’s ending statement in the interview, “The hound of Heaven had pursued me and caught me…whether I liked it or not!”